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About the Atelier

Continuity in Architecture at Manchester School of Architecture was established in 1993. It is a studio for teaching and research. It focuses upon the sustainable design of new buildings and public spaces within the historic city and interventions within existing structures.

Continuity in Architecture uses place as the starting point for every project; the students develop a proposal for a building through the analysis and translation of the particular location. Continuity in Architecture is a concept that has its roots in Contextualism. It is an approach to architecture and the design of the urban environment that uses the process of analysing and understanding the nature and the qualities of place to develop new elements.

It is our belief that an elemental approach to studying architectural technology within historic settings has never been more pressing. Our experience is that the systematic analysis of how our forebears used ready means and traditional craft techniques in the context of vibrant urban environments will lead to a rediscovery of sustainable, layered, nuanced, contextual and environmentally appropriate solutions for our time.

Potential Programme Content (2017)

Year 1 – PS1 will be engaged in a housing design project in the north-west of England. We will be exploring the nature of craft and construction, assembly and human habitation. We have a special interest in the revival of ornament in architecture, and with the detailed nature of the PS1 and PS2 projects we can devote time to this aspect of our art. PS2 will concern the technical design of a building re-use project in Wilmslow, developed from research work by the CIA BA3 group.

Year 2 – developing thesis projects for Catania in SE Sicily.

International Links

We always work to develop building designs in inspiring and challenging settings. Here is a selection of our previous study destinations:

  • 2016-17 : Bakewell + Lisbon
  • 2015-16 : Bollington + Milan
  • 2014-15 : Morecambe Bay + Granada
  • 2013-14 : Grange over Sands + Venice

In 2017-18 Year 1 will be working in Wilmslow on housing and re-use projects. The Year 2 Studio will be visiting Catania in SE Sicily. It lies in the foothills of Mount Etna, a city with ancient urban roots, yet that now faces contemporary problems of mediterranean migration.

Partner organisations and practices

Our Year 1 group will be developing our research in localism and the neighbourhood planning initiative in partnership with Wilmslow Neighbourhood Planning Committee and the town. We will draw on research from ‘The Way We Live Now’ work by last year’s CIA Y1 MArch group.

Our Year 2 group will be reviving a longstanding connection with the archaeology group at the University of Catania. They are uniquely placed to guide us through the epic history of the island as we develop finely-crafted interventions for the 21st century.

Selected reading

  • Bloomer, K. C. (2000). The nature of ornament : rhythm and metamorphosis in architecture. New York, W.W. Norton.
  • Brooker, G. A. and S. A. Stone Rereadings : interior architecture and the design principles of remodelling existing buildings.
  • Leatherbarrow, D. (1993). The roots of architectural invention : site, enclosure, materials. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  • Frampton, K., et al. (1995). Studies in tectonic culture : the poetics of construction in nineteenth and twentieth century architecture. Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press.
  • Schumacher, TS ‘Urban Ideals and Deformations’ from Nesbitt, K. (1996). Theorizing a new agenda for architecture : an anthology of architectural theory, 1965-1995. New York, Princeton Architectural Press.



Atelier Staff

Sally Stone
Atelier Leader

John Lee
Senior Lecturer

Laura Sanderson
Senior Lecturer

Tony Fretton

Gary Colleran

Tim Groom

Continuity in Architecture Blog

The CiA blog has been in existence since 2004 and is regularly updated with ideas, projects, reports and discussions. Recent postings include: